|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Trickett's Cross (SU090014)|
|To:||Mountbatten Arms roundabout, Poole (SZ048949)|
|Distance:||5.1 miles (8.2 km)|
|Meets:||A31, A347, B3072, B3073, A341, A3049|
|Old route now:||A3049, B3068, A350|
|Route outline (key)|
The A348 is one of the routes into Poole from the A31 trunk road. It is the most direct route from the A31/M27/London route, but is pretty slow all the way as it runs through built up areas most of the way. The A31/A349/A350 route is far quicker and is now the preferred route into Poole.
Trickett's Cross - Poole
The A348 leaves the A31 at a roundabout 500 m northeast of the original junction with that road at Trickett's Cross. The modern course of the A31 takes a turn to the right here, to follow the Ferndown bypass, while the straight-on route is the A348. At Trickett's Cross itself a roundabout replaces the original Y-junction at which the A31 branched right along Wimborne Road East (now declassified) while the A348 forked left.
The road enters the leafy outskirts of Ferndown, before coming to a traffic-light-controlled junction with the A347 to Bournemouth and the B3072 to West Moors and Verwood. Passing the shops and one of Tesco's ubiquitous stores, the road heads out of Ferndown and comes to a staggered crossroads with the B3073 Wimborne to Christchurch road. This junction requires two mini-roundabouts, with a 25-yard stretch of dual carriageway and is a local accident blackspot, being busy at all times. The local United Reformed Church is right on the junction, which must make it fairly noisy inside.
Passing through Longham, we come to the River Stour and the narrow Longham bridge. As the approach requires a sharp left bend followed by a sharp right bend onto the narrow bridge, there are often delays caused when large lorries try to pass. The River Stour marks the boundary between Dorset and Bournemouth. Longham Bridge has one of the few remaining signs in Dorset warning of the criminal penalty of transportation. These date from 1827 and state that any persons damaging the bridge are liable to transportation, which in those days was to Australia.
A short time after the bridge, we come to the Bear Cross roundabout (named after the adjacent pub) and junction with the A341. The A348 now becomes a dual carriageway, although restricted to 40 mph. This was originally built as part of an improved link road between Poole and the A31. Unfortunately, none of the other bits were improved and the road has since been hemmed in by residential and commercial development, leaving an urban dual carriageway with several minor junctions with side-roads and roundabouts.
The A348 ends at the traffic-light-controlled Mountbatten Arms roundabout (also named after an adjacent pub – since rebaptized, however, as "The Miller & Carter"), the junction with the A3049, which takes over the route into Poole. Some maps (the OS 1:25,000 for example), show the next stretch of road as the A348, but most signage on the ground doesn't back this up. As the boundary between Poole and Bournemouth goes through the middle of the the Mountbatten Arms roundabout, the A348 no longer reaches Poole.
The first 500 yards of what is now the A348 used to be the A31 before the Ferndown bypass was opened in 1986. This took a new route around the north of Ferndown and so the stretch of road up to Tricketts Cross roundabout was changed to the A348, with the old route of the A31 becoming declassified.
Originally, the A348 went all the way into the centre of Poole. After the Mountbatten Arms roundabout, the first stretch of road is now the A3049, and was upgraded to dual carriageway and renumbered when the A3049 “Dorset Way” was built across Canford Heath in the late 1980s. At the bottom of the hill, the A3049 turns right, and the ex-A348 carries on as the B3068. This carries on through the suburbs of Poole, has two widely-separated junctions with the B3061, crosses the A35 at the Shah of Persia crossroads (yet another pub), passes the hospital and ends at the George roundabout in the centre of Poole. This is where all the routes into Poole converge and is dominated by the enormous edifice of Barclays House. Today, this is where the A350 crosses through Poole, and is the junction also with the B3093 (ex-A349).